Democratic Delegate Math Makes Clear Bernie Sanders Has No Realistic Chance Of Winning

It's time for Bernie Sanders and his supporters to face reality. He's not going to be the Democratic nominee.

Clinton Sanders Debate

As with the Republican race, we’ve reached a point in the race for the Democratic nomination where it’s worth taking a look at the delegate math to see where the race actually stands. From the beginning, of course, Hillary Clinton has always been in a stronger position in her race than any of the Republicans have been in theirs. Indeed, with the end of March approaching, the inevitable outcome seems clearly than it has ever been. Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for President, the only question is when she reaches the magic number she needs to officially clinch that title.

Taking last night’s primaries and caucuses into account, the outcome of the Democratic race seems certain. RealClearPolitics and Politico give Clinton 1,185 pledged delegates so far compared to 897 for Bernie Sanders, added to this are an additional 164 delegates that are not pledged to either candidate. Additionally, Clinton has the support of 467 Superdelegates, giving her a grand total to date of 1,689 delegates, while Sanders has the support of just 26 Superdelegates, putting his grand total at 944. Going forward, I will solely use pledged delegate count since Superdelegates can always change their mind without penalty. So far, the Democratic contest has resulted in the awarding of 2,246 delegates, with another 1,805 delegates yet to be won. As stated above, so far Clinton has won 1,185, representing 52.76% of the pledged delegates awarded. In order to get to the 2,382 delegates needed for a first ballot majority, Clinton would need to win another 1,197 delegates in order to win the nomination, which means that she’d need to win 66.32% of the remaining delegates. In reality, of course, that number overstates Clinton’s task, though, because it discounts the impact of the Superdelegates, so its worth noting that even if Clinton didn’t get the support from a single additional  Superdelegate, her actual target is 730 additional delegates, which represents just 40.44% of the pledged delegates to be awarded, a goal which seems to be clearly within reach for her. Bernie Sanders has a much tougher task at hand. Not counting his Superdelegates, Sanders would need to win 82.27% of the remaining pledged delegates. Adding his limited number of Superdelegates into the mix doesn’t make his task any easier since he would still be required to win 79.67% of the remaining pledged delegates as well as picking up support from a significantly larger number of Superdelegates. To put it bluntly, that isn’t going to happen any Sanders and his supporters are fooling themselves if they think it can.

Looking forward on the Democratic calendar, everything seems to be working toward Clinton’s advantage. While there has been limited polling out of Wisconsin that shows the race between Clinton and Sanders to be close there, the fact that delegates will be awarded proportionally means that Clinton would still walk away from that contest with some delegates and that Sanders will do little to close the gap. The Mid-Atlantic contests in states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut on April 26th will likely be fertile ground for Clinton thanks to her ties to the region. Looking further into May and June, Clinton also seems well positioned for victory in states such as Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, and, finally, in California which in and of itself would probably end up being sufficient to put her over the top even though she likely will have already reached that point thanks to the Superdelegates that will likely start moving to her side in larger numbers over the coming two months. Indeed, the only thing that would seem to be preventing Clinton from wrapping up the nomination earlier is the fact that Democrats don’t have any Winner Take All primaries. If they did, then Clinton would have this contest over and done with much sooner. As it stands, though, we’re already at the point where a Sanders victory is the stuff of pure fantasy in any case. Whether he realizes that or not is another question.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Wayne says:

    After he just had two landslide victories and stands to have a few more this weekend….

    Superdelegates will not thwart the will of the people if it comes down to it. To do so would result in an outcry of epic proportions. It would also guarantee a win by the Republicans.




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  2. grumpy realist says:

    Doug, Bernie will probably continue to remain in the race simply to keep pressure on Hillary. He knows he can’t win.




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  3. @Wayne:

    Even without the Superdelegates, he has no realistic chance of winning.




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  4. PJ says:

    @Wayne:

    Superdelegates will not thwart the will of the people if it comes down to it. To do so would result in an outcry of epic proportions. It would also guarantee a win by the Republicans.

    I totally agree about the superdelegates not thwarting the will of the people, problem is that the Sanders campaign has made some troubling statements regarding getting both superdelegates AND pledged delegates to switch to the Sanders campaign. Not that I’m worried that any will do that, because Sanders have been a Democrat since September last year and his record for rainsing money for downballot Democrats is abysmal.

    After he just had two landslide victories and stands to have a few more this weekend….

    Two landslide victories that so far has netted him 31 more pledged delegates than Clinton, and the third contest set him back 14, so, he has ended up +17 so far.

    There are still six pledged delegates to be awarded and if he picks up at least five of then he would won at least 57.5% of yesterday’s pledged delegates, which also is the percentage (it might be higher) of all the remaining delegates that he will have to win to pass Clinton in pledged delegates.

    Do you actually believe that he’ll get 57.5% (or whatever the current percentage is) of the delegates in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania? Those five states award 65% of the remaining pledged delegates. And if he doesn’t get the required percentage in those states, then how is he going to win?

    But I would love to hear an actual plan describing how Sanders would win it. Just “getting 57.5% of the remaining delegates” really don’t cut it.




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  5. PJ says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Doug, Bernie will probably continue to remain in the race simply to keep pressure on Hillary. He knows he can’t win.

    Keeping pressure on Clinton is one thing, attacking her, knowing that he has no way of winning, is something completely different. Spreading far right lies

    Also, he keeps fundraising on the message that he will win. Not my money, but I’d argue that they could be better spent on progressive downballot Democrats. But then that has never been a concern for him…




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  6. whatever says:

    He doesn’t have to win. He can keep amassing support and just keep the conversation going into and after the convention. This is the long-game. He’s now part of the Democratic party. He can do something with that if he wants to.




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  7. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @whatever:

    Much like Ron Paul, he will cease to exist from the standpoint of notoriety about 10 seconds after the election. He’ll return to his seat in the Senate, and his political weight thereafter will rank about where it did before – pretty much the same as the Save The Spotted Owl Society (with apologies to Sorkin).

    You’re confusing rhetoric – which is how you get people to vote for you – with governance – which is what you do once you are elected. Bernie may have temporarily shifted the conversation, but you’ll be finding out sometime after November that he hasn’t shifted the reality at all.

    And no, Sanders is not now, nor has he ever been, a registered Democrat.




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  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Wayne:

    Yet another sad soul who evidently can’t count.




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  9. Paul Hooson says:

    I don’t think any American socialist has ever seriously believed that they would be elected president, rather that they will use the campaign to market their ideas. If Hillary is indicted in the Email scandal, then Sanders becomes the popular replacement candidate. He does have honesty, passion and a vision. On the negative side, big business would savage him in a general election compared to Hillary, whom is a candidate for big business.

    I’m a Jew myself, but perhaps a Jewish president might find Mideastern politics more difficult to navigate as well. It might actually be a blessing that the U.S. has not had a Jewish president because of the complex Mideastern problems.




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  10. whatever says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Ron Paul never seriously contended for the party nomination. You can discount 40+% of the primary electorate if you want, but I wouldn’t. This is just the beginning.

    This is groundwork for the next step in 8-16 years.




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  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @whatever:

    40% of which primary electorate? The registered one or the small piece of the registered one which actually showed up?

    Helpful hint – 40% (and I suspect that figure is more than a tad high – I just don’t care enough about Sanders to check it …) of 35% (the average actual turnout) is 14%. That’s his actual degree of demonstrated support among the primary electorate. What is it with kids these days and difficulty with math?

    As for the rest, I’m old enough to have seen several “revolutions” that never happened. The SDS of the 60s are the middle class homeowners of today. There has always been a youth segment with starry eyes regarding change. They don’t accomplish much, and then they grow up, to be replaced with another generation of sign wavers who won’t accomplish much either.




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  12. bloated sack of protoplasm says:
  13. Todd says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    And no, Sanders is not now, nor has he ever been, a registered Democrat.

    You keep saying this like it’s a bad thing. For many people, that’s a feature not a bug. The Democratic party is corrupt through and through. Their one and only redeeming value is “hey, at least we’re not as bad as the Republicans”.




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  14. PJ says:

    Sanders does better in caucauses than in primaries.
    Sanders does better better in open primaries than in closed primaries.

    Off the remaing pledged delegates:
    5.3% will be awarded in open caucuses
    1.3% in semi-closed caucuses
    5.5% in closed caucuses
    That’s 12.2% that will be awarded in caucauses

    11.0% in open primaries
    1.1% in semi-open primaries
    34.6% in semi-closed primaries
    41.1% in closed primaries
    That’s 87.8% that will be awarded in primaries.




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  15. elizajane says:

    Sanders, in an interview with The Young Turks, just refused to say that he would throw his support behind Hillary should she win the nomination. He also said he’d rather not have her in his cabinet.

    The man is, in Brooklyn Jewish terms, a schmuck. His online followers are like him only far, far worse.

    I support Clinton, but if Sanders wins I will not only vote for him, I will be out going door to door trying to convince other people to do so as well. I will donate money. I’ll do everything I can do as a lone voter in a not-very-swingy state. It would be nice if somebody on the Sanders side, especially the candidate himself, could have the courtesy to say the same about supporting Clinton. Even the bloody dysfunctional Republicans pledged to support their variously horrendous and inept rivals.




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  16. grumpy realist says:

    @elizajane: Sheesh, that’s just being arrogant.

    Oh well, I’m still glad I voted for him in my state’s primary.




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  17. Grewgills says:

    @whatever:
    If you want to lay ground work for the next 8, 16, or 32 years you need to take your cues from the Republicans of the 80s through the 00s. You need to recruit and support candidates for local and state level races. You need to take over state and local governments. You need to be in control of reapportionment for the 2020 census. If Bernie wanted to build a real revolution that stood a chance of succeeding he’d be raising money for promising progressives down ballot. So far as I can tell he hasn’t done much of that. He hasn’t even really given it lip service. I hope after he loses the primary that is where he’ll focus his energy and fund raising.




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  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Todd:

    Here in the real world, there are two possible winners in any national election – a Democrat or a Republican.

    I just don’t care for someone who doesn’t belong to my party, and who has done little, if anything to help that party, using it for his benefit when the mood strikes him. Speaking frankly, Sanders should have been barred from even running in our primaries unless he actually became a Democrat.




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  19. al-Ameda says:

    @elizajane:

    Sanders, in an interview with The Young Turks, just refused to say that he would throw his support behind Hillary should she win the nomination. He also said he’d rather not have her in his cabinet.

    I worry that there are many among Sanders’ supporters who will either not turnout or will not support Hillary, and in so doing contribute to the election of a Republican president.

    We’ve been through that bulls*** before – in 1968 and in 2000. And how did that turn out for Democrats who indulged their ideological purity fetishes?

    This bulls*** is really simple to me: I’m not a purist, I want a victory. I want a Democratic president making the next nominations to the Supreme Court, not Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.




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  20. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:

    You need to be in control of reapportionment for the 2020 census.

    redistricting, not reapportionment.




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  21. “Not counting his Superdelegates, Sanders would need to win 82.27% of the remaining pledged delegates. Adding his limited number of Superdelegates into the mix doesn’t make his task any easier since he would still be required to win 79.67% of the remaining pledged delegates as well as picking up support from a significantly larger number of Superdelegates.”

    But if we assume that most superdelegates will be, in the end, supporting the candidate with most pledged delegates (like it happened in 2008), Sander only need to win 58% of the remaining pledged delegates, no?




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  22. PJ says:

    @Miguel Madeira:

    But if we assume that most superdelegates will be, in the end, supporting the candidate with most pledged delegates (like it happened in 2008), Sander only need to win 58% of the remaining pledged delegates, no?

    Yes, but he won’t be able to do that either.

    To quote myself:

    Do you actually believe that he’ll get 57.5% (or whatever the current percentage is) of the delegates in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania? Those five states award 65% of the remaining pledged delegates.

    All those are states where Clinton will do well.
    Furthermore, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are all closed primaries, and California and New Jersey are semi-closed primaries.




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  23. An Interested Party says:

    You keep saying this like it’s a bad thing. For many people, that’s a feature not a bug. The Democratic party is corrupt through and through.

    Ok, so where’s that fabulous third party to come in and sweep away the two horrible majority parties? Oh, that’s right, no such third party exists…

    Sander only need to win 58% of the remaining pledged delegates, no?

    As if that has any chance of happening…




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  24. Tyrell says:

    “Realistic chance”: there has been nothing realistic about this election so far.
    What I saw last night was huge crowds and long lines like I had never seen before. Maybe it was because of the Brussels attacks.




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  25. DrDaveT says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    I don’t think any American socialist has ever seriously believed that they would be elected president

    Have to disagree there. I think FDR was pretty confident the second time. And the third. And maybe even the fourth.




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  26. Pch101 says:

    @Miguel Madeira:

    For the most part, superdelegates represent the Democratic establishment.

    Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat.

    Why would anyone expect establishment Democrats to throw their weight behind a guy who doesn’t belong to their party, with the goal of winning an election that would make Sanders the de facto leader of a party to which he does not belong?




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  27. Andre Kenji says:

    Bernie Sanders´coaltion is basically Obama´s coaltion, but without the Blacks, that´s not sustainable.




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  28. Paul Hooson says:

    @DrDaveT: FDR co-opted parts of the earlier Progressives and Socialists platforms where these growing parties lost their growing electoral strengths.




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  29. Hmmmm says:

    Is Hillary goin down? Joe diGenova, former US Attorney for Washington DC talks on C-SPAN 03.18.16 about Hillary’s emails, the grand jury, etc.:
    http://www.c-span.org/video/?406228-4/washington-journal-joseph-digenova-hillary-clintons-emails&live=&vod=&start=1117




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  30. Todd says:

    @elizajane:

    The man is, in Brooklyn Jewish terms, a schmuck. His online followers are like him only far, far worse.

    And then you wonder why Sanders supporters won’t just come around and vote for Clinton.

    If she loses in November (and I concede that thanks to the fact that the Republicans are even more incompetent when it comes to choosing a nominee, it’s unlikely) it will be the fault of the arrogant Democrats who insisted on nominating Hillary Clinton, not those of us who refuse to vote for her in a general election.




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  31. Todd says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I just don’t care for someone who doesn’t belong to my party

    Also this.

    About 40% of voters across the country are currently registered as Independent … more than either Democrat or Republican. If arrogant Democrats don’t think that left-leaning Independents should have a say in the nominating process, then again, they really shouldn’t act all outraged and surprised when those same left leaning Independents don’t wish to vote for the “real” Democrat’s preferred candidate come November.




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  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Todd:

    Nothing is stopping those left-leaning independents from forming their own party and fielding a candidate. If, as you say, they constitute the largest segment of the electorate, then they should have no difficulty 1) getting that candidate on state ballots, and 2) competing on a national level.

    Yet they never do either. Sanders running as a Democrat instead of as an Independent probably says all that needs to be said about why …




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  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Todd:

    it will be the fault of the arrogant Democrats who insisted on nominating Hillary Clinton

    Translation: “Why won’t all those Democrats who intelligently weighed their options and decided to vote for Clinton see that my preferred candidate is clearly superior? Are they stupid? I must educate them …”

    That sort of condescending Bernsplainin has something significant to do with why. I was honestly open to considering Sanders at the outset, but the single largest factor (among several others) which has turned me off to him is his supporters & how they have carried out their support.




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  34. C. Clavin says:

    @Todd:
    Remember what they did to John Kerry, a war hero? Imagine for just a minute what they would do to a self-described socialist. Bernie is un-electable. Sorry. Just the way it is. And I say that as a native Vermonter who has watched Bernie for as long as I have been politically aware.




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  35. Pch101 says:

    @Todd:

    Change a few words, and this could be Tea Party rhetoric.




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  36. Andre Kenji says:

    Sanders do well in the polls because he is the generic Democrat. That´s a liability for Hillary Clinton(The Republicans lost elections where a Generic Republican was performing better than their real candidates in the polls), but that does not mean that Sanders is electable.




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  37. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: That.

    Bill and Kerry and Obama and Hillary didn’t get vilified because of any flaw of theirs. They get vilified because that’s all Rs can do. And they’d do it to Bernie (God love him).

    They can pretty much either run on policy (some days I crack myself up) or demonize the opposition.




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  38. whatever says:

    @Grewgills: I completely agree. People need to bring back the 50 state strategy and get to work. I think it is happening. This is evidence of folks getting engaged in the processes.

    I don’t understand how pointing out that a candidate is getting 40% of the dem primary electorate leads to heckling. Candidates have won the presidency with less. Candidates have gone on to take leadership roles in their parties with less. Several off the top of my head from recent history: Clinton, Dean, HW Bush.

    90%+ of sanders supports are happy to vote for Clinton. I just don’t understand the disdain and derision in the comments here.




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  39. bookdragon says:

    @Todd:

    …it will be the fault of the arrogant Democrats who insisted on nominating Hillary Clinton, not those of us who refuse to vote for her in a general election.

    No, if one of these GOP clowns is elected in November, it will be very much the fault of ‘take-my-ball-and-go-home’ idiots who decided it wasn’t worth voting to keep an incompetent unhinged blowhard or a theocratic sociopath from becoming president.

    “You didn’t give us who we wanted so now everyone has to suffer!!” is the sort of argument I expect from teahadists, not theoretically mature and politically savvy progressives.




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  40. elizajane says:

    @whatever: Not sure what you mean. I think most of us like and respect Sanders. I certainly said that I would vote and even campaign for him should he get the Democratic nomination. All we are saying is that we feel that situation is unlikely, and that his supporters should stop making threats about throwing the election to the Republicans if their guy isn’t the nominee.




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  41. Facebones says:

    @bookdragon: Honestly. That is such a privileged mentality. “Screw the women, poor, immigrants, and minorities! I didn’t get Bernie, so you all get to suffer! I hope president Cruz puts Roy Moore on the Supreme Court! That’ll show you!” Unfortunately, this isn’t a game of Risk. There are real world consequences.

    (Although it will amount to as much as the PUMAs did in 2008, I’m sure.)




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  42. Tyrell says:

    @Andre Kenji: Sanders would have come to the center if he gets the nomination. And for him, that would be a huge turn.




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  43. Pch101 says:

    @whatever:

    The delegate count is simply a question of arithmetic. It is the Sanders supporters who are miffed by this basic fact and who refuse to understand the fundamental mathematical nature of the problem.




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  44. dmichael says:

    @elizajane: You “like and respect” Sanders by calling him a “schmuck?” I agree with “whatever” in so far as being puzzled by the vituperative nature of the anti-Sanders comments here. It is probably unrealistic for Sanders to believe he can get the nomination (with the obvious qualifier that he will be the one who is left standing if HRC implodes). However, he has been showing a determined and effective campaign to make income inequality an issue that must be debated. You got a problem with that? As to Sanders refusal to explicitly state during this campaign that he will support HRC, why don’t you wait until she gets the nomination and get back to me? Just as I don’t ascribe to Doug, James or Steven the views expressed in the comments on this website, I don’t ascribe to Sanders what SOME of his alleged supporters are saying on the internet. Finally, “HarvardLaw92” has been consistently negative about Sanders, apparently because Sanders is old. Maybe if he(?) gets to be Sanders’ age, he won’t be so critical of us old farts.




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  45. Tillman says:

    @al-Ameda:

    We’ve been through that bulls*** before – in 1968 and in 2000. And how did that turn out for Democrats who indulged their ideological purity fetishes?

    @bookdragon:

    No, if one of these GOP clowns is elected in November, it will be very much the fault of ‘take-my-ball-and-go-home’ idiots who decided it wasn’t worth voting to keep an incompetent unhinged blowhard or a theocratic sociopath from becoming president.

    Yes, how dare people vote their beliefs instead of knuckling under to my view of how they should vote. These people should grow up and listen to me and what I think.

    If the Democrats nominate a candidate that doesn’t get enough votes in the general, that is the fault of Democrats.* It is their fault for being incompetent at conveying a message or crafting appeal. Just as Sanders is at fault in the primary for his poor messaging to and subsequent loss of black voters, so too are Democrats at fault if they can’t attract enough leftist independents in the general to secure victory. Saying you can blame purists for losing elections is using the same bullsh!t logic some Sanders supporters go to for losing the black vote, and the same bullsh!t logic that has conservatives claim black Democrats are “on the plantation.” It’s the kind of denial that prevents any introspection and improvement, like what the Republicans did with their postmortem on the Hispanic vote after 2012.

    * Isn’t this the whole point of the electability argument?




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  46. Mikey says:

    @Tillman: I get what you’re saying, but at the same time, the welfare of the nation is still the overarching concern. That means voting for whoever the Democratic nominee is even if it’s not the one a given Democratic voter would have preferred.

    This is about much more than an individual voter’s preference.




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  47. whatever says:

    @Pch101: You’re spending too much time on the internet arguing with trolls. Most folks are reasonable with respect to the delegate math. They know Sanders won’t get the nomination but want to keep up the focus on income inequality and the rigged economy. Most have no illusions about Clinton gaining the nomination and needing to support her in the general. This is born out by the polls saying that 90+% of Sanders supporters will go on to vote for Clinton.

    Now if you have actual evidence to support your conclusion (not just angry tweets or internet trolls), then feel free to back up your concern with some actual numbers about which to be concerned.




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  48. Pch101 says:

    @Tillman:

    This is a two-party, first-past-the-post system. That requires interest groups to join intra-party coalitions prior to elections in order to have a place at the table.

    If you don’t support the candidate/party that more closely represents your views, then you end up tacitly supporting the opposition by default. This is simply a mathematical reality; we do not have a proportional representation system that makes it easier for minor parties to win seats, then join a coalition after the election.

    Sitting out the election can be hardly be regarded as enlightened self-interest for a progressive located in a swing state who is confronted with the GOP circa 2016.

    If progressives are smart, then they would endeavor to become viable members of the Democratic coalition and accept the inevitable compromises that are produced by coalitions, not have a fit because they’re a minority faction that can’t get their way. That’s Tea Party behavior, and even they outnumber the progressives.




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  49. Pch101 says:

    @whatever:

    The comments here are being directed toward individuals who make math-deficient comments. No need to turn it into a strawman; I never claimed that those who post such comments represent everyone.




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  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @elizajane:

    Agreed. Were he to be nominated, I would absolutely be standing in line to vote for him – despite actively disliking some of his policy proposals and my firm belief that he is a one issue candidate who is otherwise woefully out of his depth with regard to his capacity to lead a nation.

    Why? Because I actively dislike what has become the entire Republican position on just about every issue imaginable. It’s not about wanting Bernie. It’s about not wanting anybody on the Republican side of the ballot.




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  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @dmichael:

    Finally, “HarvardLaw92” has been consistently negative about Sanders, apparently because Sanders is old.

    No, because he is unelectable. He doesn’t seem to be that at present because the Clinton camp has essentially treated him like lovable Uncle Bernie and the Republicans want to run against him, so they aren’t engaging their attack machine either (yet anyway). He’s pretty much had a free ride thus far with respect to being subjected to a serious, material level of attacks. Nominate him and that will come to an end, very quickly and very viciously.

    The sum total of the mud that would be slung at Sanders, thanks to his rich & decades long history of saying & writing & doing things which are an opposition researcher’s dream come true, would make what has been leveled against Clinton seem like a delightful neighborhood bake sale in comparison.

    Remember McGovern? Remember how badly he lost? (49 states and 503 electoral votes). Remember why? The hard fact is that Sanders is McGovern redux, and this country does not elect the far left.

    From a Republican perspective, he’s their Sharron Angle. They’re DREAMING of running against him. As to why I dislike him, he’s not a party player with his focus on the larger picture, and he’s muddying the waters with promises that Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t be able to deliver. His focus is on his one little issue, to the exclusion of the hundreds of other issues which are equally as important. Short version – I dislike him for the same reason that I disliked Nader.




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  52. bookdragon says:

    @Tillman: My reply was to someone giving the ‘If I don’t get who I want, I’ll let Trump or Cruz get elected – and it’ll be all your fault’ argument.

    Bernie isn’t my first choice and I suspect the GOP will smear him beyond recognition by Nov. if he’s nominated, but if he is, I will not only vote for him but campaign for him.

    I have friends who are Muslim. Sitting things out in a snit or for some idea of not ‘knuckling under’ to the only choices available is not an option.




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  53. Tillman says:

    @Mikey: That’s a perfectly fine justification to vote for a candidate, but it won’t convince people. Americans disagree enough over what constitutes a greater good for society to begin with.

    @Pch101:

    If you don’t support the candidate/party that more closely represents your views, then you end up tacitly supporting the opposition by default.

    This is a facile process argument that has nothing to do with considering the policies, consistency, or merits of a candidate. It presumes from an epistemological error mistaking a mathematical certainty for a political one, and leads to absurd conclusions concerning the ~40% of the population that doesn’t vote in presidential elections. That this argument, in one form or another, has been the best one Clinton supporters have offered for six months now as rationale to vote for her speaks to her weakness as a candidate. A better candidate wouldn’t require an electoral boogeyman to get support.

    @bookdragon: And my reply was to your reply. Todd wrote the same thing I wrote, I just provided more reasons why I see it differently. I’m perfectly willing to vote for Clinton in the general, I just know way too many people who aren’t. Nothing anyone’s written here as reason to vote for her is convincing, and the pigeonholing of their concerns into an immature or sexist BernieBro stereotype makes them even less likely to vote Clinton. Plenty of people here have said they’re turned off by Sanders supporters without realizing the exact same thing is happening in reverse.

    Given that my state’s Republican legislature just shoved the most comprehensive discriminatory law down our throats in twelve hours yesterday, I’m well aware what little option there is.




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  54. Mikey says:

    @Tillman:

    That’s a perfectly fine justification to vote for a candidate, but it won’t convince people. Americans disagree enough over what constitutes a greater good for society to begin with.

    Can you point to more than a vanishingly small handful of Democrats who would disagree that Clinton would be better for America than Trump?

    I’m no more excited by Clinton than you are. I find her uninspiring, her manner on the stump grating. I like Sanders and voted for him in my state’s primary. But when it comes down to it, we have to vote what’s best for the country, and I’m pretty sure Mrs. Clinton won’t farm out Supreme Court nominations to the Heritage Foundation.




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  55. Pch101 says:

    @Tillman:

    This is a facile process argument that has nothing to do with considering the policies, consistency, or merits of a candidate.

    One of the things that we learn as grownups is that there are occasions when our choices are limited to a short menu that is lacking gourmet options. Somebody is going to be elected whether or not you like it.




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  56. An Interested Party says:

    …if HRC implodes…

    Exactly how will that happen? And please spare us the ridiculous indictment argument…




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  57. elizajane says:

    @dmichael: Perhaps it was unclear that I find Sanders a “schmuck” only in that he refuses to commit to supporting his rival should she be the democratic nominee. I think that’s both bad form and bad politics. In any event, though, I will vote and even work for him if he is the nominee.




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  58. Monala says:

    On the birth control mandate thread, someone mentioned a very important reason to not consider single payer healthcare a good policy at this time. Under a single payer system, every single woman in the country would be at risk of losing her access to birth control, not just those who work for “religious” employers.




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  59. elizajane says:

    OK, now I’m ready to say it for real: the man is a schmuck. Here he is, laying out his “demands” for endorsing Hillary if she wins the nomination. If this is the way he usually plays, no wonder none of his congressional colleagues have endorsed him.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-endorsement_us_56f45bf0e4b014d3fe22b4a7?




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  60. An Interested Party says:

    Oh look, Sanders has laid out the conditions under which he would support Hillary…

    Sanders also listed policy demands he would make of Clinton, including a single-payer health care system, a $15 an hour minimum wage, tougher regulation of the finance industry, closing corporate tax loopholes and “a vigorous effort to address climate change.”




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  61. Monala says:

    @An Interested Party: see my comment above about why single payer is a bad idea in our current political climate.




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  62. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Short version – I dislike him for the same reason that I disliked Nader.

    And yet you indicate you would prefer he’d run as in independent in the general election, where he can do real damage to Clinton, rather than in the Dem primary, where if he loses and keeps to his word not to run as an independent he takes no votes from Clinton.

    Its much better for the Dems and Clinton to have Sanders not running in the general election (his support is much stronger than Nader’s). Sanders won’t win the Dem primary, his criticisms of Clinton are from the left meaning the Republicans won’t use it (they’re not going to go after her for being too cozy with Wall Street, or for being interested in foreign adventures), and he’s acting as a magnet for all the disaffected progressive voters who might otherwise be going towards creating a third party candidate. The best thing by far for Clinton, the Dems, and the country, is for Sanders to stay in the race until the convention, and then endorse Clinton after losing.

    If he wasn’t in the race Clinton would be getting almost no press, would be veering to the right, and progressives would be starting to back an independent to run in the general election. If he was running as in independent he’d take 10% of the vote, far more than Nader did, possibly more if Clinton veered to the right. I sometimes suspect it was Clinton who suggested he run; he’s been a godsend for her.




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  63. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @george:

    No, I said that I would prefer that he not run as a Democrat unless he actually registers as a Democrat and works to help the party. That doesn’t imply that I want him to run as an Independent. You’ve added that leap of logic.




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  64. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Vermont doesn’t have party registration, so Sanders can’t register as anything.

    Of course, he’s still allegedly an independent who just caucuses with Democrats, so we’re back to the guy who wants to be in charge of a club to which he does not belong.

    I would expect resistance to an attempted takeover by an outsider who hasn’t paid his proverbial dues from members of a Rotary Club chapter, let alone a major political party. That’s why it’s utterly unrealistic to expect large numbers of superdelegates to defect to Sanders; they don’t want to hand the keys to someone who does not belong to their group, particularly if he is going to trash talk them in the process.




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  65. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Okay, that makes more sense, sorry for misinterpreting it.

    Adding a requirement that a candidate for the party’s nomination be a member of the party is common sense, though from what Psch101 says that’s not an option in the case of Vermont.




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  66. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @george:

    It doesn’t stop him from running as a Democrat in Vermont, just from registering as one in Vermont. That aside, PCH has noted several times, and I concur, that Sanders has done little, if anything, to help the party. He mostly seems interested instead in using the party to help himself.




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  67. @DrDaveT: FDR never claimed to be a Socialist




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